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27 September 2018

Phone hacking: Charles Russell Speechlys achieves settlement for celebrity clients from News Group Newspapers

Charles Russell Speechlys can today confirm the settlement of Privacy claims for unlawful voicemail interception on behalf of seven Coronation Street actors and an Emmerdale actor, along with a talent manager who oversaw the careers of the Spice Girls, Hear’Say, B*Witched, Five, and Stephen Gateley, among others.

The claims were brought against News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of News of the World and The Sun.

Television personalities Les Dennis, Kym Marsh, Lucy-Jo Hudson, Alan Halsall, Samia Ghadie, Kate Ford, Jimmi Harkishin, and Ben Freeman, and talent manager Chris Herbert, claimed their voicemail messages were hacked by NGN journalists and, as a result, they would have been privy to personal voicemails from friends and family on their phones, and messages they left for others.

Claire Greaney, Associate, Charles Russell Speechlys, says:

“Everyone has the right to privacy and confidentiality. Violating that right was simply unacceptable. While our clients have a public profile, their private life is just that – private – and should be respected as such.”

Duncan Lamont, Consultant, Charles Russell Speechlys, says:

“We are pleased that we could assist our clients in resolving their disputes with NGN and that the publisher has made a public apology to each of our clients for the distress caused to them by hacking into their voicemail messages, obtaining private information about them, and using that information.”

Proceedings were issued against NGNand subsequently a settlement arrangement was agreed. Each settlement includes an undertaking by NGN not to intercept the Claimants’ voicemail messages, to pay compensation to the Claimants, and join in a statement in open Court to apologise to the Claimants for the misuse of their private information. The public apology was made today in the Commercial Court in London.

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